Friday prayers allowed after three weeks at Jamia Masjid


Srinagar: After remaining closed for three consecutive weeks, authorities on Friday allowed the mandatory Friday congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid. Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman and Jamia Masjid’s head cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq who was put under house detention from past several days was also allowed to deliver the Friday sermon today.

The historic Jamia Masjid, located in Nowhatta area of old city remained closed for last three consecutive weeks for Friday congregational prayers as the authorities had imposed curbs in several areas of Srinagar to prevent the protests called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising of three pro-freedom leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik over Shopian killing and other issues.

Delivering sermons after three weeks, Mirwaiz condemned the banning of Friday prayers at the historic Masjid for three consecutive weeks, saying that imposing curbs and ban on prayers won’t make Kashmir issue disappear.

Mirwaiz who was put under house detention from last several days condemned the government for imposing frequent curbs in downtown and banning of Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid.

“Those who mislead by such propaganda should understand that Kashmir problem will not disappear by barring prayers at mosques and blocking all avenues of public expression of protest and outrage against repression, including in the mosques,” he said, adding that unless the genuine demand of resolution of Kashmir issue is addressed, voice will always be raised for its resolution from the podium of mosques including the Jamia Masjid.

“The Masjid’s are community centre for the Muslims where besides other things the community comes together at prayer times and otherwise, to discuss and deliberate the issues facing them and the Friday sermons delivered reflects those issues and problems of the community and their redressal in the light of Quran, Sunnah and ethics,” he said.

Mirwaiz said that from the past thirty years in particular, the gravest crisis being faced by the people of Kashmir is severe repression and suspension and abuse of all their rights including human religious and political as ‘a consequence of occupation and the unresolved Kashmir dispute for past 70 years.’

He said that preventing Muslim community to offer prayers at Masjid’s especially at central mosque on Fridays, in order to stop them from expressing their opinion and outrage at the repression they are subject to, is the ‘height of hypocrisy of these collaborators’.

Meanwhile, Mirwaiz expressed anguish over the loss of lives in border areas, saying that “it is extremely sad that daily precious human lives on all sides are lost at the altar of this dispute, and suffering endured something that can be easily altered if hard posturing and status quo is given up and reality pragmatism and justice given a chance so that a resolution is found to this dispute and an end put to this cycle of violence.”

Mirwaiz said as is evident from the experience of past 70 years, there is little scope for a military solution to the issue and after India and Pakistan turned nuclear to maintain the current status quo is all the more difficult especially in an environment of mutual mistrust and regular LoC and border skirmishes.

“The escalation can anytime lead to a war with devastating consequences. So it is in the best interest of all that India and Pakistan behave like mature and sensible nations and in interest of their country and its people resolve the Kashmir dispute,” he added.

Meanwhile, according to the statement issued here, Mirwaiz visited SKIMS Soura to inquire about the health condition of ailing Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik and extended his wishes and prayers for his speedy recovery.

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